How To Sew Denim With A Sewing Machine

Denim is nowadays a very popular material and a byword for jeans. Since the textile is so ubiquitous, I want to offer a few tips and tricks for denim sewing because of the limited understanding with the fabric.

But some background first.  The term jeans today usually means Blue Jeans, a specific pant style.  In 1871 Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss & Co. invented these “reinforced” denim pants.  Levi Strauss’s which maybe has done more to expand the role of denim in our society than any other individual or institution.

sewing denim jeans

However, in view of this important contribution from America to the performance of denim, what many other people these days do not know is that denim has actually been invented in France.  The French “de,” meaning Nîmes, a beautiful town in the south of France that was invented during the Middle Ages, is used to describe the term ‘ denim.’  So denim means “from Nîmes” literally.  The original name was “Serge de Nîmes,” which is 1864 was ultimately reduced to denim.

Denim is also one of the most durable fabrics available on the market.  Jean owners know that for a very considerable period of time their jeans were with them.  The irony–they begin to fall apart after you get them exactly where you want them!

You must be armored with premium quality thread and very strong needle if you need to tailor your denim or have a tear.  This hard fabric won’t work on average thread and needles. Make sure you have the right tool for the job if you knitted your own jeans from scratch.

Suggestions for Tools & Sewing:

  • Use sharp instruments.  This encompasses both sharp professional scissors and sharp rotary cutters.
  • Use heavy needles, for either sewing denim like this or a universal needle of 90/14 size at least. Use a heavy-duty needle.  Make it 100/16 if the denim is especially thick.  The needles have a reinforced blade to lessen the deflection of the nail and to limit the risk of broken needles or skips.
  • Use Jeans Thread, especially for flat felling top-stitching, or you may also try a padding thread if you can not find it.

Denin Sewing Methods & Seams:

  • Again, sharp tools are required.  A very sharp pair of sharp blades or scissors on your rotary cutter will facilitate cutting patterns.  You can cut the denim into layers one layer at a time, depending on the thickness of the denim. Make sure your pattern pieces are flipped as you go along if necessary.  The recommendation is also made that you buy really strong pins, average pins are more likely to bend and can not penetrate the textile.
  • Take time sewing and don’t pull or squeeze the fabric as firmly as possible while filling the machine.  You can always use the hand wheel if your sewing machine has complications with a, particularly bulky seam.  When you sew denim, it’s quite easy to break a needle.
  • Sewing denim even if your standard pressing foot is only fine, if you have one available for your sewing machine, you could consider buying jeans presser foot.  It makes it much easier for you to sew.  Consider also using a walking foot to prevent the tissue from changing.
  • Denim is one of the materials which can easily be broken. Therefore, sharp tools are important.  If you go over the cut edge on the inner seams for a zig-zag stitch, it will not break the material.
  • A beautiful flat seam gives you the same look like the jeans you purchase in the company.  A flat felled seam, especially for stresses or pressures, is also much stronger. 

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